Breaking taboos and the cycle of poverty
We’re sometimes asked if we collect sanitary products. We don’t – we only collect new pants plus new and gently used bras – but some of the pants we collect are used to support charities that supply reusable hygiene kits.
One such organisation is Days for Girls. UK Director Jane Williamson says: “Since first visiting Maria and her army of volunteers at Smalls for All®, Days for Girls UK has been wonderfully supplied with over 6,000 pairs of pants for schoolgirls and women. This has enabled us to provide over 3,000 reusable, washable feminine hygiene kits to schoolgirls and women living in poverty in many parts of Africa. The difference these kits make by enabling girls to attend school every day of the month instead of them being forced to stay home or resort to using unsafe, unreliable means to manage their periods is incalculable.
“Our sewers buy all necessary materials to create these kits at some considerable personal cost, having to fundraise to pay the approximate £6 per kit for everything needed, which includes 2 pairs of pants per kit. Smalls has relieved all of us of this considerable cost so enabling us to make more kits, keeping more girls in school and more women having days of dignity and freedom.”
We also supply pants to the Tumaini Fund for their hygiene kits. Tracy Taylor of the Tumaini Fund (Scotland) says: “The Tumaini Fund (Scotland) is very grateful to Maria and Smalls for All® for providing pants for our hygiene kits which are distributed to orphans in Kagera, NW Tanzania. These kits will last each girl 3 years and will buy back over 180 days’ worth of education. It’s a privilege for us to take these kits in our suitcases each time we visit and a real joy to watch the girls receive them. As Joyce, age 14, from Bukiriro says: ‘Thank you to everyone for making these kits for us. Now I can be at school every day just like the boys.’”
See A pants journey to follow the story of a pack of Smalls pants that Tracy took to Tanzania.
We also support Action in Africa. As vice chair Tina Rayburn explains, “Whilst we have supported our schoolgirls in Nyaishozi, Tanzania, by providing feminine hygiene products which rely on a supply of knickers from Smalls for All, we also recognise that this female community will wear underwear every day if given the choice. However, if a family has to choose between buying knickers or eating, they will always buy food. Consequently, by supplying a tiny charity such as Action in Africa with knickers, Smalls for All enables us to provide this level of comfort and dignity to the schoolgirls and local ladies of Nyaishozi, regardless of their menstrual cycle.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
We’re glad to provide pants for hygiene kits which enable girls to stay in school and women in work during their period, thereby helping break the cycle of poverty.